Karp to lead Australia to Brazil

May 17, 2011 by David Weiner-Maccabi NSW
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Maccabi Australia’s preparations for the Pan America Games in Sao Paolo in December have begun in earnest, with the announcement that former Australia and Melbourne Victory player Tal Karp will be the open women’s football side’s player-coach.

Karp, who represented the ‘Matildas’ at the 2003 FIFA women’s World Cup and 2004 Athens Olympics, enjoyed a distinguished career at the top level, and has now turned her attention to inspiring the next generation of young Jewish footballers.

“It feels fitting,” Karp said. “Maccabi was the first club I ever played for as a seven-year-old in Perth.”

“Now that I no longer have the pressures of training and competing for the Matildas or at W-league level, being involved again with Maccabi feels right.”

Nominations have opened for participants wanting to represent Australia in South America, and Karp, as well as team manager Sydney Kahn, want to take the young side that travelled to Israel in 2009 to the next level.

With an eye on Maccabiah 2013 as well as the competition in Sao Paolo, both Karp and Kahn have put the call out for talented Jewish players of all ages across the country to throw their hands up for selection.

Karp has already taken up an ambassadorial role with the North Caulfield club in Melbourne, and this new coaching role will allow her to play a hands-on part in the growth of Jewish women’s football in the community.

“I think we can build a strong new generation of creative, talented, athletic Jewish soccer players,” Karp added.

“Maccabi clubs are doing a great job locally. Its now really important for us to boost the number of girls in the game and help build the players coming through so that we can make more of an impression on the international stage.

“I’m very excited to be a part of that building process.”

Team manager Sydney Kahn hailed Karp’s appointment as a sign that Maccabi Australia is serious about women’s football.

“For any Jewish sports person to have the opportunity to be coached and play with a player of Tal’s calibre – that opportunity doesn’t come around very often,” Kahn said.

“If they have a passion for soccer and they have the opportunity to be coached and work in a tournament environment with Tal, it’ll be an unbelievable opportunity.

“(Her appointment) is an amazing coup for us and anyone remotely enthused by the game should be beating our doors down.”

“I think we can build a strong new generation of creative, talented, athletic Jewish soccer players” – Tal Karp.

Maccabi Australia President and Pan America Head of Delegation Lisa Borowick added: “We are thrilled to have Tal spearheading our team to Sao Paolo. It’s great to have her also involved at an ambassadorial level at Maccabi club level. It will be a huge boost to our women’s football program.”

With these goals in mind, Karp hopes to attract the best players available for trials, most likely in July, which will be the first step in what will be a professional and high quality preparation.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had some wonderful coaches and wonderful playing experiences,” said Karp, who holds an Asian Football Confederation C-level coaching license.

“I hope to share some of my experiences with these young girls to help them in their playing careers.” Players in their development phase will benefit by joining.

“In Brazil, I really want us to be able to present a competitive, fighting force, while keeping our development goals in mind. I think over time we can be successful.

“It’s very exciting to be competing in a country that I consider to be the home of football, and to get the chance to play against some of the best female footballing countries in the world.”

The former Melbourne Victory skipper was part of the 2005 Maccabiah Games squad and now plays with Victorian Premier League club Bundoora United as she focuses her on her legal career.

For more information contact team manager Sydney Kahn. Phone: 0412341544 or email: skahn@maccabi.com.au

For more information on representing Australia at the Pan America Games in Sao Paolo, visit Maccabi Australia’s information page.

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